Thank you all for the prompt and helpful replies. So first off, I need to qualify the "2000 photos" - apologies about the lack of info on my part. So in fact, with that example, I took 4700 photos, deleted 60+%, and am left with 1700 photos. How many photos one takes is dependent on a myriad of factors. I'll be the first to put my hand up to say that I can certainly cut down on the number (and I should!). However, my wife and I (and both our parents) treasure all these photos immensely, in part due to our love of the minutiae and multitude of facials expressions of our toddler son.
If and when I do upload photos on Facebook, it typically in numbers of <50. I occasionally extract some for printing calendars etc, but vast majority stay exclusively in a digital form.
I personally find that lightroom is excellent for handling large batches of images. You can correct one image and then select all 2000 or just a few and apply the same corrections or just selected corrections to the whole batch in seconds.
I haven't been able to do that successfully in Aperture yet. I think a batch change of a maximum of 20-30 photos at a time is possible, because that is probably the limit of how many I'd take in a particular setting. Nonetheless, that'd be useful.
I flag the images according to my personal rating so that only the best ones are printed or uploaded to my website, no one would want to see 2000 photos.
Like I said I rate my pics first and start editing the best ones first... There's also no real reason to edit the photos that you don't plan on doing anything with except saving them to look at later.
The second batch are the "portfolio" images. These are the ones that I think I may want to include in my collection of personal bests. Of course, there is likely to be some overlap, so I may give these an initial post-processing with the intent of going back later and fine-tuning them.
Yes agree with all of you. Rating/grouping helps tremendously. So from that example of 1700 photos I've got left, 241 are rated 3 star or better (out of 5). OK, that's a slightly more manageable number. But actually, even to go through each of those 241 photos, and spend say 2 (very conservative) minutes on each, that's 482 minutes, or just over 6 hours. Wow, that's a lot of time to spend processing photos.
I probably tend to spend between 15 minutes and 30 minutes per image for those that I consider are worth processing. However I have spend many hours on a few very special shots. These tend to be images that need extremely careful, subtle "massaging" to draw out the best.
I certainly don't process all my RAW images, only those that I believe deserve the effort. But I enjoy the time I spend doing all this and certainly don't consider it work. Each image is processed entirely on it's own merits. with no bulk processing.
I take my hat off to you - you must be a perfectionist! If I do put in 15-30 minutes on each... wow... I'd have to give up my real job.
My average over time is ~250 shots/week (spread across 5DII/7D/S95), and I spend a fair bit of time with post processing. The first step is triage - as Mt Spokane Photography stated, no one wants to see all your images, and you probably don't want to keep them all. A personal pet peeve is the photographic equivalent of babbling - Flickr or Smugmug pages filled with multiple versions of the same basic image. Edit, edit, edit. Pick the best, most memorable images from a set and toss the rest.
So 250/week would be completely out of the question for me - I'd certainly feel I've missed out on capturing stuff I'd really like to have for keeps. Thankfully (for you neuro!
), I don't upload photos onto any Flickr-type sites.
Personally, I use Aperture for triage, DxO for global adjustments (exposure, corrections, etc.) and RAW conversion, and Photoshop CS5 for selective editing, and back to Aperture for library organization. It's a somewhat complex workflow, to be honest, but it gives me the results I want.
I'm stating the obvious, but I presume you find the adjustments functionality less than adequate on Aperture, even though it's not an amateur photo management/editing programme?
With Aperture, do you have 1 large library? Or do you have multiple libraries across several external drives? I fear I have to consider the latter soon, as these 25-30MB RAW files are just eating my hard disk for breakfast.
At some point, I'll have moved on to the next shoot (for me, these are self-assignments since I don't do this for money). I will have processed the images that I know I want and I can let the other 1,950 or so images sit untouched on my hard drive, secure in the knowledge that they will be there if I ever get the time to revisit them.
That's the problem I have right now. Photos that aren't bad enough to delete, but just taking up too much space! Gotta use that DELETE button more.
I guess there isn't a panacea for my photography woes! What I'll need to do is:
1. Organise photos better. Continue to use Aperture as my library. More vigorous rating and deleting.
2. Processing photos. Establish a system. Looks like I'll eventually have to give in to a Lightroom / DxO / Photoshop, as the consensus from other threads on this forum appears to be that noise reduction (amongst other things) is significantly better than Aperture. It's disappointing, because I was under the impression I can do vast majority of editing with Aperture. Yet another software interface to have to deal with!
So what about DPP? It seems pretty impressive in terms of being able to more finely apply/adjust various in-camera settings like white balance etc in the comforts of your computer. I guess you guys don't find it all that useful?
And when you take a photo into LR/Photoshop/DxO, in what order do you typically adjust a photo? Exposure, highlights/shadows, then NR, then curves, then xxx? Because I so rarely adjust photos, I know next to nothing about how to really do it properly... I do a little exposure adjustment and that's about it!